Mirandize all students E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

According to a story from the Courier Journal, the Kentucky Supreme Court is considering a case from Nelson County that could require school officials to give the Miranda warning when questioning a student with a school resource officer present.

Data shows that there are 254 sworn police working in Kentucky schools, according to the Kentucky Center for School Safety, and up to 60 percent of schools nationwide have at least one SRO on campus.

Opponents of requiring the warnings say administrators have more important things to do. Critics contend that simple investigations would be turned into complicated cases and schools would be less safe if principals have to Mirandize every kid questioned in front of a cop.

If principals “must look into a crystal ball and predict, ‘This could lead to criminal charges, I have to Mirandize this child,’’’ Wayne Young, executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Administrators says that’s going to jam up the works.

But Rebecca Ballard DiLoreto, litigation director for the Kentucky-based Children’s Law Center, said principals routinely “orchestrate” interrogations with police to “streamline” prosecution of students, making it only fair that they be warned of their right to remain silent and to get a lawyer.

The Nelson County case that created the controversy began in 2009 when a high school teacher found an empty prescription pain pill bottle on a restroom floor with a student’s name on it.

School resource officer Stephen Campbell, an armed deputy sheriff, and Nelson County Assistant Principal Mike Glass, escorted that student to Glass’ office, where he was questioned but not advised of his rights.

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